Despite higher population size women voters are less than men

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Nov 19, 2017-

Women make up 51 percent of the total population of the country, according to the 2011 census, but when it comes to registered voters, their number is less than that of male voters. 

According to the 2011 census, the total population of the country is 26,620,809—13,693,378 women and 12,927,431 men. 

According to available data, 95.7 percent of the people who are in various work destinations except India for work are males. Currently, 3.8 million youths are working as migrant workers in different countries, according to the records at the Ministry of Employment. Yet, the number of women voters is less than that of men. 

According to data of the Election Commission (EC), the total number of eligible voters for the upcoming elections is 15,427,731. Of them, 7,651,065 are women voters while the number of male voters stands at 7,776,496. This shows, women make up 49.59 percent of total voters. There are 170 voters who have been listed as third gender. 

Women voters outnumber men only in three out of seven provinces and in 39 districts out of 77. Age-wise, women voters in 18-40 and 41-60 age groups outnumber men. 

EC officials say they were not expecting the number of women voters to be less than men. 

“It was natural for us to expect higher number of female voters,” Election Commissioner Illa Sharma told the Post. The EC had also directed officials to prioritise women in every election related activity, including while registering the voters, she said. Lack of political awareness among women, however, could be one of the factors, according to her. 

The EC carries out voter registration process on a periodic basis even if there are no elections. 

An individual just has to produce the citizenship card to get registered as a voter. A voter identity card issued by the EC is a must for an individual to be able to vote. 

Women rights activist say many women might have been left out for not having citizenship certificates. “Still many women do not have citizenship certificates without which one cannot obtain a voter identity card,” said lawyer and women right activist Meera Dhungana. “The patriarchal mindset of the society where women aren’t allowed to be active in the politics could be another factor [for less number of women voters].”

Published: 19-11-2017 07:28

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